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Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:54 am
by lynn
My client is a legacy 25-year Sonic client, very loyal, and wants to host her new Wordpress site on her existing Sonic hosting account. Her new site, built in a staging environment, uses the recommended WP 5.22 and PHP 7.3,

We get this error when installing... "Your server is running PHP version 5.3.29 but WordPress 5.2.2 requires at least 5.6.20."

Is there any way to host an up-to-date Wordpress site on this client's account on Sonic?


Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:32 am
by joemuller
Hi Lynn,

At the moment, the newest available version of PHP on our Hosting platform is 5.6. You can change the site over by doing the folllowing: (For more info, see here.)

- Edit the file '.htaccess ' in the top directory of your website (this is normally where the index.php and wp-config.php files are for Wordpress) to have the following two lines on top:

Code: Select all

Action php-cgi /cgi-bin/php56
AddHandler php-cgi .php

There may already be a similar line referencing 'php53', in which case you can change that line to have 'php56' instead.

We're currently working on a (long overdue) refresh of the Hosting platform, which will include a newer PHP 7 release. For now, PHP 5.6 is the most recent one available to you.

-- Joe M

Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:57 pm
by Lis
Hi Joe,

I have the same issue. I followed your direction to edit the .htaccess file, and continue to receive the same error message.
Any suggestions?


Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:52 am
by joemuller
His Lis,

Go ahead and check now - it looks like your Wordpress install was actually in a sub-folder ('/resort'), so I went ahead and updated both the main .htaccess file as well as the one in the folder. That should get everything running PHP 5.6.

-- Joe

Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:49 pm
by anklam
I just made this change to the .htaccess file that's located alongside the index.php and wp-config.php files, but I now get the error message:

Error establishing a database connection
This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can't contact the database server at This could mean your host's database server is down.

Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
Are you sure that the database server is running?
If you're unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your host. If you still need help you can always visit the WordPress Support Forums.


Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:24 pm
by anklam
It looks like the answer to my problem is mentioned in another thread on this forum:

the MySQL password hash for your account needed to be updated to work with the newer PHP version. This Wordpress install must have been created quite a while ago since it was using MySQL's "old_password" format.

I switched back to PHP 5.3 and changed passwords, hoping that this might regenerate a newer password hash. After editing .htaccess to use 5.6, it didn't work.

Re: Hosting and current version of PHP

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:35 pm
by anklam
OK. I should have read further in the other thread at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9245&start=10

Following those steps worked! Hurray!